The quiet. The holy moments. These are what I treasure most in this busy season of gathering. Stepping back to remember that before Christ was born on that silent, holy night, God already put a plan in place for redemption bringing us peace, hope, love, grace, and mercy. I am awed by the gift of His Son; pausing ever so briefly to take it all in leaves me full of wonder and overwhelmed by joy.
Yet, for some, the holidays are painful. And, where we are hurting most, Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. The very presence of God is the comfort needed to see us through our most disappointing days. I’m reminded that God not only calls us ‘friend,’ but gives us the gift of gathering. Ultimately, our friendships help when we do not understand God’s ways.
Through the gift of friendship, we break the bread and drink the wine of communion in our fellowship with one another.
Thankfully, friends walk through the most difficult of times together sharing their experiences. It’s especially sweet when talking through heartache and absence of those we love. Jesus does this on the Road to Emmaus. Still unsure if his resurrection could possibly be true, we find two friends doing life together. Unbeknownst to them, as they walk and talk about all the chaos in Jerusalem, Jesus meets them in their utter confusion. He steps right into the midst of their pain and walks alongside them as a stranger.
On this journey, they talked about the Scriptures with Him and Jesus explained the prophecies fulfilled and reveals the truth of all that had been happening. Finally, when they sit down for a meal together, Jesus reveals himself.
The Gift of Revelation
As soon as he broke the bread, they knew him. Luke 24:31 says, at that moment, their eyes opened; wide-eyed, they recognized him.
Amazingly, this happens in our everyday lives when we invest in the lives of others. In return, we get the gift of friendship. While we come alongside each other in the presence of the Lord, He does something remarkable. We receive the gift of grace and God’s presence as Emmanuel, God with us, when we gather with friends.
God brings us the gift of friendship at just the right moment and sweetly melds our hearts together in His presence.
Friendship sets our hearts aflame as we gather in Jesus’ name.
“Amazing! Weren’t our hearts on fire within us while He was talking to us on the road? Didn’t you feel it all coming clear as He explained the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures?” So they got up immediately and rushed back to Jerusalem…where they found the eleven gathered together—the eleven plus a number of others. Luke 24:32-33 The Voice
Later, Jesus appears to the group, and they begin to understand who he really is. At this point in Scripture, Jesus gives His disciples the many gifts they will need after He is gone. And we receive these gifts when we come to a saving knowledge of Christ too.
In Jesus, these same gifts are ours for the keeping. He is the gift of faith, hope, grace, mercy, Holy Spirit, love, and peace. (Luke 24:44-49 TPT)
A Christmas Prayer:
Father, our prayer for this Christmas season is a simple prayer thanking you for the gift of gathering, grace, and Your Presence, God.
Amy Elaine Martinez is an inspirational speaker, former radio show host, and gifted Bible teacher. Her ministry is devoted to helping women with heart-shattered lives become whole again in Christ. She recently moved from the beautiful mountains of Castle Rock, CO to play on the plains of historic Guthrie, OK. Amy Elaine’s desire is to see women walk in wholeness and develop an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Living the victorious life is one of the major themes of her ministry.Connect with Amy Elaine at www.amyelaine.com